Hospital Records for FAA Review

Hospital Records for ReviewThe FAA routinely requests copies of pertinent medical records for review before arriving at a certification decision. These records are critical parts of the FAA evaluation, and failure to provide them will slow the issuance of your medical certificate.

Following any medical treatment, especially involving hospitalization and surgery, the FAA will require these medical records:

  • The Admission History and Physical is a report dictated by your treating physician at the time you are admitted to the hospital for medical treatment.
  • The Discharge Summary is dictated by the doctor and is a summary of your hospital stay, the treatment undergone while hospitalized, and your condition on discharge from the hospital.
  • The Operative Report details the surgical procedure(s) performed. If an organ or foreign body is removed during the procedure, there will probably also be a pathology report.
  • The Pathology Report is generated by the pathologist and describes the specimen in detail. In cases involving malignancy, the type of tumor is reported. This report provides important information about the possible extent of tumor involvement to other parts of the body and the likelihood of recurrence in the future.
  • Diagnostic Test Results: The FAA will want to see the results of any testing that was performed. They usually are not concerned with the daily routine blood work that is drawn during hospitalization, although a current routine blood chemistry panel (Chem 12 or 24) will usually be needed. Any other testing, including radiographs (X-rays), CT scans, MRI, MRA, electroencephalograms (EEGs), electrocardiograms (ECGs), etc., should be provided. If diagnostic testing generates electrocardiographic tracings, such as treadmill exercise testing, the original tracings should be provided. The FAA will accept photocopied tracings only if they are sharp and clear.
  • Progress Notes: These are the nurse's notes and physician's progress notes during the time of hospitalization. These are usually handwritten and may not be very legible, but they need to be included.

This information can be obtained from the hospital or treatment facility by contacting its medical records department. There may be a cost for this service and is usually a per-page charge. Many of these records may be available from your treating physician's office, so try that first before contacting the hospital record library.

The copies should be clean and legible. Arrange them in chronological order with the oldest information on top. Also, be sure to make copies of all information you plan to forward to the FAA in case the records are lost or misplaced after they arrive at the FAA.

If you would like assistance navigating the special issuance process, AOPA Pilot Protection Services will review your medical records in advance of your medical application to make sure your records are in order and complete. You will be able to avoid unnecessary delays caused by missing or incomplete paperwork. In addition, we will track your medical through the FAA system to make sure your application keeps moving forward. We will work with the FAA to ensure that make sure you receive your medical in the shortest possible time. Call AOPA to enroll or visit

Updated March 13, 2013